Angiogenesis is vital for tumour formation, development and metastasis. Recent reports show that carbon nanomaterials inhibit various angiogenic signalling pathways and, therefore, can be potentially used in anti-angiogenic therapy. In the present study, we compared the effect of different carbon nanomaterials on blood vessel development. Diamond nanoparticles, graphite nanoparticles, graphene nanosheets, multi-wall nanotubes and C60 fullerenes were evaluated for their angiogenic activities using the in ovo chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane model. Diamond nanoparticles and multi-wall nanotubes showed the greatest anti-angiogenic properties. Interestingly, fullerene exhibited the opposite effect, increasing blood vessel development, while graphite nanoparticles and graphene had no effect. Subsequently, protein levels of pro-angiogenic growth factor receptors were analysed, showing that diamond nanoparticles decreased the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor. These results provide new insights into the biological activity of carbon nanomaterials and emphasise the potential use of multi-wall nanotubes and diamond nanoparticles in anti-angiogenic tumour therapy.